Beowulf places itself in the long congested line of ancient-influenced, hero worshipping adventure/fantasy films that surfaced in the wake of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Still, despite being the umpteenth one, Beowulf is certainly one of the best, owing to Zemeckis crisp direction, a fresh visual appearance that gives the special effects a shelf to rest on, and a story based on Norse history and mythology in which the hero, refreshingly, isn't a preordained 'the one', but rather a cocky, inherently flawed womanizer with a good track record. There are familiar elements in Beowulf as well, but they are all well-portioned out by Zemeckis who knows when to start and stop, and whose little stroke of genius here is to be just as interested in the characters' relation to the supernatural as in these beings and forces themselves. Because even though Beowulf is a fable, and an exhilarating one, it is also a valuable portrait (if not a completely accurate one) of how life was like in the North of Europe at a time when the Norse Gods were about to be replaced by the new guy from the Middle East. What is interesting about how this is handled in Beowulf, is that it shows how this altered moral values and spirit of living - for good or (rather) worse. Finally, Zemeckis is back in form, and showing off his visual creativity.